Agricultural Disaster in the Municipal District of Pincher Creek No. 9
At the Special Council Meeting on August 8, 2023, Council declared the MD of Pincher Creek a Municipal Agricultural Disaster.
Administration notified the Province of Alberta and the Agricultural Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) of the declaration. The MD of Pincher Creek acknowledges our agricultural industry's crucial role in our community.
Below is the response letter and links to current ag programs that are available.
Dear Reeve Lemire:
Thank you for your August 9, 2023 letter regarding the declaration of an agricultural disaster in the Municipal District of Pincher Creek No. 9 (MD of Pincher Creek). As Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation (AGI), I sympathize with farmers across the province who are experiencing the effects of heat, dry weather, wildfires and more.
I can assure you that my department and I are closely monitoring moisture and crop conditions. AGI officials remain in direct communication with farmers and speak regularly with agricultural organizations, commodity groups, boards, commissions and industry experts to ensure they have up-to-date information about the challenges our producers are facing.
The MD of Pincher Creek’s disaster declaration brings awareness to the developing situation, informs relevant stakeholders and enables collaboration among impacted producer groups. As you note, these municipal declarations do not automatically trigger access to increased funding through provincial or federal programs.
AGI officials are working with federal counterparts on an AgriRecovery joint assessment to address the impacts of the hot, dry weather on Alberta livestock producers – in particular, on the cost and availability of feed. We are working on the next steps to ensure a potential program provides maximum benefit to producers and maximizes cost-shared federal funding. I will continue to emphasize the urgent need here in our province for a Canada-Alberta AgriRecovery response.
AGI has also worked with the federal government to identify regions in Alberta that are eligible for the federal Livestock Tax Deferral provision. On August 21, 2023, the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, announced an initial list of designated regions where the Livestock Tax Deferral has been authorized for 2023. Please note that the MD of Pincher Creek is included. We will continue to work with the Government of Canada to monitor conditions in the province to determine if more regions will be added to the list.
Producers may provide feedback directly to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Agroclimate Impact Reporter. The data collected from the survey helps to inform recommendations for the Livestock Tax Deferral program and the Canadian Drought Monitor.
It is important producers know of current programs available to help them manage risks to their farming operations. The Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) offers a comprehensive suite of business risk management (BRM) programs – including AgriInsurance, AgriStability and AgriInvest. AFSC programs are often the first line of support when producers face disaster. Producers are encouraged to make use of these programs to protect their interests and mitigate threats to the viability of their farms.
For the 2023 crop year, AFSC’s adjustments to the BRM programs include doubling the Low Yield Allowance threshold so insured producers can salvage additional cereal or pulse crops for livestock feed. In addition, the AgriStability program has reopened for late participation until September 29, 2023, to give producers another option to help navigate business risks.
AFSC can provide proactive assistance when producers are affected by drought conditions. On a case-by-case basis, AFSC may provide loan payment deferrals, interest-only payments and loan re-amortizations, depending on individual client needs. To learn more about these programs and how AFSC supports its clients, I encourage you to visit the AFSC website or call 1-877-899-2372.
Additionally, AGI provides information to assist with on-farm business management and production issues during dry conditions and periods of business stress. The Farming in Dry Conditions webpage includes Agricultural Moisture Situation Updates and the Alberta Climate Information Service, which provides near real-time meteorological station data and access to a variety of maps.
To address on-farm water security prior to, during and after dry conditions or drought, two AGI programs are available to support agricultural producers – the Water Pumping Program and Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership Water Program. Producers can access information about these programs by calling 310-FARM and asking to speak to an agricultural water specialist.
Thank you again for writing to share your concerns. We are working to ensure that Alberta’s agriculture industry continues to thrive during these challenging times.
Honourable RJ Sigurdson
Minister, Agriculture and Irrigation
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